What is a military charter school?
A military charter school is a public school that uses a military framework (uniforms, formations, military awards, rank structure, etc) to help students get into college. It is a public school that welcomes all applicants who are willing to work hard academically, wear their uniforms with pride each day, participate actively in athletics, comply with a code of honor, and become leaders of character.
What are they like?
Students (called cadets) wear uniforms all day every day and must wear them with pride. Students take college preparatory courses. They participate in a variety of intramural and interscholastic athletic teams. They are taught character education courses and the Corps of Cadets is run by cadet leaders who have demonstrated leadership and character skills.
How long has California had military charter schools?
The Oakland Military Institute was founded in 2001 by Governor Jerry Brown. The North Valley Military Institute was founded in 2013 with the support of Governor Brown and the Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent, John Deasy and school board members.
How does someone get their child into NVMI?
NVMI takes all applicants. The only requirement is that students be willing to comply with the unique charism of a military school --- wearing the uniform, listening to fellow student leaders, participating in a rigorous college preparatory course-taking pattern, being involved in a variety of athletic and fitness/wellness opportunities, etc. Students must also complete an entrance camp to acclimate them to the military culture.
What exactly happens at Entrance Camp?
Candidates learn about the NVMI culture. They learn basics of marching and military courtesy. They learn about proper wear of the uniform and how to honor our national flag. They learn about the school's citizenship and athletic programs, and they complete a variety of academic classwork and homework activities to prepare them for the academic demands of the academy.
My child is a major behavior problem. Will NVMI fix that?
The simple answer is probably not. NVMI is not designed for "problem kids". It is a college preparatory school. That being said, the structure and discipline of the school helps most students be more successful than they might be in a less structured environment. But a student who refuses to wear a uniform with pride, or a student who refuses to listen to fellow student leaders, or a student who does not complete classwork and homework will NOT be successful at NVMI.
Do teachers at charter schools have to meet the same requirements as other teachers?
Teachers of college-preparatory and core academic classes (such as English, math, science, social studies, foreign languages, and the arts) must have a teaching credential.
How much does it cost?
The entire program is free. Uniforms are provided free of charge, except the basic candidate/pledge uniform for entrance camp, which is a pair of simple plain black athletic shorts, a plain white crew neck t-shirt, white athletic socks, and black athletic shoes. Any family unable to provide those basic items for entrance camp is provided the items free of charge. All other uniform items are provided free, including rank, ribbons, accouterments, etc. Parents can choose to purchase additional uniform items if they would like to do so, but this is not required. All components of both the physical fitness and dress uniforms are provided free, but if a student loses or damages a uniform item maliciously, it must be replaced at their expense.
Does a student have to live in the school district where the charter school is located?
We take students from anywhere, but since this is not a residential school, they must be able to commute to/from the campus in Sun Valley, CA.
How are parents expected to be involved?
We believe parents are the primary educators of their children. To that end, we expect them to be involved in the academic, leadership, citizenship, and athletic lives of their children. We invite all families to donate 25 hours of voluntary service to the school (35 if more than one child is at NVMI) and those hours are accomplished easily through participating in parent orientations, student-led conferences, parent trainings, social events, coming to military or academic ceremonies, etc. All such service is entirely voluntary and there is absolutely no penalty for a parent who is unable or unwilling to vlunteer.
What about students in Special Education?
NVMI does have a larger Special Education population and proudly serve those students well. Specific questions about Special Education services at NVMI should be directed to the Director of Special Education at 818-368-1557- X 2212.
Who governs NVMI?
A governing board meets monthly in public meetings. For board information, contact our main office, or click on the Board of Trustees link above under ABOUT NVMI.
What about facilities?
NVMI is located on the campus of (formerly Sun Valley HS) Valley Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Sun Valley, CA. We share the facilities as part of Proposition 39, and pay LAUSD for the rental of the facility.
What are the reasons I should consider sending my child to NVMI?
Great reasons include:
- wanting your child to go to college
- wanting a focused learning environment
- wanting your child to develop self-respect and respect for others
- wanting your child to take pride in their appearance
- wanting your child to participate in a variety of athletic/wellness experiences
- wanting your child to learn how to serve and lead others